Royers caters weddings - yum!
Last Friday I began my Friday Favs with Part 1 of I Heart Royers Round Top Cafe. I promised more discussion about how I became entwined with this family that lives an hour and a half away. Several years ago the cafe published Royers Round Top Cafe: A Relational Odyssey, part cookbook, part history of the family and cafe, part thoughts on communion through food and friendship. Bud is interested in publishing another book reflecting the relationship of the cafe, the family and the clients who have become friends over the years. I wrote the following thoughts in response to that subject:
In what do you believe? Fate? Destiny? Luck?
Me? I believe that God Provides. Ending up on Royer’s Round top Café front porch was no accident. God knew I, and over time, my family needed some folks in our life who could bless and enrich our lives, and the Royer family fills that description so well.
I first came across the Royers in 2002. A Nashville friend was coming to Austin and I, living in Houston, looked for a central meeting place. Somehow I knew of the café and it was the perfect half-way meeting place. The food was great, we marveled at the pie sampler, and the atmosphere and decor was creative, welcoming, homey and comfortable. That first visit made a real impression on me.
After that initial introduction, I browsed the café’s website. Dr. Karen had several of her writings posted and I read all of them. The words resonated with something deep inside of me. 2002 was a hard year for my family and me. I was laid off early in 2002 and was working contract at the time I came across the writings. My husband had also been laid off for the 4th time in 3 years. We were dealing with parenting issues. My life felt narrow and heavy.
Because of the heart, style and content of Dr. Karen’s writings, I felt compelled to email her and share how she touched my heart in my current circumstances. Dr. Karen emailed back, and told me if I would come to Round Top, she would counsel me for an afternoon at no charge. My family only had one car at the time, so one of my dear friends drove me to Round Top so I could meet with Dr. Karen. I came bearing gifts- orange and white M&M’s! She also came bearing gifts: wise counsel and needed encouragement. We spent a wonderful afternoon together, and I came away with a lighter heart. She offered some practical solutions to struggles I had, and we talked in a broader sense about taking the life I have and filling it with creativity and purpose. It’s taken me many years to formulate and implement what we talked about that day, but slowly over time I have taken her words to heart and incorporated them in my everyday life.
I took a permanent job in late 2002, and during the 2003 holiday season I was able to use Royer’s pies as client gifts for my firm. I was so pleased that I could give back to them for the gift of time Dr. Karen had given me. My company gave Royer’s pies for client gifts for 4 years and it was always a pleasure to “do business” with Tara and Bud during the holidays.
I’ve met college buddies at the café, and 4 of my dear friends and I spent a “turning 50” weekend in Round Top and had an outstanding time eating at Royers. (Our picture is on the wall!) When possible, I also stop on my way to or from Austin. I smile when I walk into the café and am greeted like Norm in “Cheers.” Because of our business transactions, Tara and I have phoned, talked, IM’d, and emailed over the years. One day, after a serious IM conversation, a pie and gift certificate showed up at my house! My husband and I used the certificate this year to celebrate our 16th anniversary. We were treated like honored guests and enjoyed our day so much. In June 2008 Royers hosted The Big Party, a celebration of 21 years of operation and Dr. Karen’s latest graduation. I wanted to come and be a part of the celebration by helping where I could. My whole family ended up being involved and, though it was hard work, we felt honored and privileged to be included. When party guests would ask how we knew the Royers, I would tell them that we are one of those families that the Royers have collected over the years. I would get a knowing smile and nod of the head in response to my answer.
People long for and hope to belong, to be included, to be welcomed. That’s the gift the Royer family gives, accompanied by fabulous food and perfect pies. The triple threat! I didn’t know when I walked into Royer’s Round Top Café 7 years ago, that I was walking into a friendship. But God knew, and I thank Him.
Pleasing, picture-perfect, plump pecans, folded into fabulous, finger-lickin’, flawless filling. Pour mixture atop celebrated, crazy-good, coveted crust.
Add in one small town, funky, family-run establishment and you have Royers Famed Pecan Pie.
Big J’s family has been planning for a while to take a trip together to celebrate a big anniversary. I need to make extra money for travel expenses and guess where I’ve been working?!? Came in as a customer, now I’m bussing tables during antique week!!! I’ve also gotten to work some catering jobs with them. But you know what, it’s all good. People who come to Royers are a special class of folks, working with the Royers is a treat, I get to sneak a bite of pie now and then, and all the raspberry tea I can drink. Plus I get paid. Does it get better than that?
Have a good weekend, ya’ll.
Our 16th at the cafe
Me, I’ll be staying inside out of the heat. Hope you can, too.
Girls Wkend - Antique Wk - Royers for lunchFriends at Royers
Friends at Royers
All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.
Filed under: Favorite Things, Friday Faves | Tagged: Friday Faves, Pie, Royer Family, Royers, Royers Pie, Royers Round Top Cafe | 4 Comments »